Anastasia Fleischer

Did you know that Connecticut has the second highest incidence of breast cancer in the nation, and nearly 3,000 Connecticut women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2013? That’s why the work of Komen Connecticut and events like the Westport Race for the Cure can be so vital, and make a difference in the lives of women in the state.

For each of the past three years, Komen Connecticut has funded over $1 million in community grants to local organizations, providing life-saving services for women in need across our state, including Anastasia Fleischer of West Haven. Thanks to grant funding from Komen Connecticut, Anastasia had access to be life-saving tests and treatment at St. Vincent’s Medical Center.

After losing her job and health insurance, the news of her breast cancer diagnosis was even more difficult to take.

“I don’t know what I would have done without the Komen grant and the team of professionals who are taking care of me at St. Vincent’s,” Anastasia said.

Without the support from Komen Connecticut and the dedication and determination of the team at St. Vincent’s, Anastasia’s life may have been very different. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation for an aggressive form of breast cancer, yet she remains adamant about raising awareness and educating other women. She plans to volunteer and help other women learn about the resources that are available to them, even lending her image and story to Komen Connecticut’s Westport Race for the Cure marketing campaign.

“I’ve got a new life agenda now,” she said. “I’ve got first-hand experiences that can help other people like me know they are not alone.”

In addition to St. Vincent’s, Komen Connecticut invests in breast cancer programs across the state, and many in Fairfield County, including CancerCare, Bridgeport Hospital, Norwalk Hospital and Stamford Hospital, among others. In the past, much of its fundraising has taken place in Greater Hartford, but that will change with the introduction of the 2013 Westport Race for the Cure on May 11 at Sherwood Island State Park.

“The Westport Race is an exciting next step for our organization,” Anne Morris said. “We are proud of the statewide impact of our community grants, and are thrilled to have a greater presence in Fairfield County. We need the support of the local community to help us continue investing in cutting-edge research and local breast cancer programs for Connecticut women, like Anastasia, and their families.”

Visit KomenCT.org for more information and to register.